International Club of Berne

Theatre: "Free Mandela"

Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at 8pm

Location: Theater am Käfigturm, Spitalgasse 4, 2UG

This event is in the past.

When     Thursday, 23 January at 20:00

Where    Theater am Käfigturm, Spitalgasse 4, 2UG

Contact   Reserve your seat by phone at 031 311 6100 or online ( You must buy your own tickets (CHF 33 or 28 for students and seniors). Pay at the theatre in advance or at least 30 minutes before the start.

Deadline  Please register by Sunday, 19 January

We can go for a drink or snack afterwards.

In the morning, the ADG presents Monsieur Ibraham et Les Fleurs du Coran in French (


Displaying 1 comment
Graham wrote
at 7:13pm on Wednesday, 15th January 2020
Theater in French at 10 am on Thursday 23 January

Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran was originally written in French as a play, based upon the life of Schmitt's friend, Bruno Abraham Kremer. Kremer had asked Schmitt to write a play based upon his life growing up in Paris, specifically the relationship with his grandfather, Mr. Abraham. The play was written with only one character, Moïse (Moses), referred to as "Momo" an adult, who reflected upon his childhood.

The book begins with a young Moïse, commonly referred to as Momo, preparing to search for a prostitute. It is written as a reflection of his childhood, and he notes that he was only eleven years old at the time, but his height and his weight made him look older. He breaks his piggy bank open, takes his money, and heads outside to the Rue de Paradis (Paradise Street, or Heaven Street), to find a prostitute. The book is set in a real district of 1960s Paris, which is described in detail. Momo always stops by the shop of the Turkic grocer, Mr. Ibrahim, and often shoplifts. After his stop in this small shop, he sets out to find a prostitute, but is turned down several times for lack of identification. Finally, he finds one who will offer her services, and they head off together. Momo forgets to bring a gift for the girl, and runs home to get his teddy bear, a final link to his childhood.

As the book progresses, Momo speaks to Mr. Ibrahim more and more. Mr. Ibrahim shows Momo how to save the precious little money his father gives him, by buying day-old bread and reheating it, filling bottles of Bordeaux with a cheaper variety, buying cheaper ingredients, etc. and also teaches him the art of smiling, which subsequently gets him out of trouble quite often. Momo's father hardly notices a difference in these new ingredients.

Momo becomes closer to Mr. Ibrahim, who eventually takes him to see the "real" Paris, where the famous landmarks are. Shockingly, one day, his father, a struggling lawyer, decides to run off, leaving about one month's worth of money for Momo. He also left a note with a list of people whom Momo should contact. After this incident, Momo becomes even closer to M. Ibrahim, who takes him on a vacation in Normandy, which Momo believes is too beautiful, bringing him to tears. During Momo's stay in Normandy, the police arrive at his door to tell him that his father has committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train in Marseille, and Momo is forced to return to Paris in order to identify his father's body. Afterwards, Momo goes back to his apartment with Mr. Ibrahim and repaints the walls. During this time, Momo's mother enters, inquiring about her son Moïse. When asked, Moïse states that his name is Momo, saying that it is short for Mohammed. When she is not convinced, Momo attempts to lie further, saying that Moïse had left in search of his older brother, Popol, although his mother states that Moïse is her only child. She asks for Momo to relay a message to Moïse if he ever sees him again, stating that she had met his father when she was young and married him in order to leave her house, despite never liking him. She continues by saying she was ready to love Moïse, although she had ended up leaving him with his father in order to pursue a happier life with another man. She asks for him to relay the message to Moïse if he ever sees him, and leaves. Later that night, Momo jokingly asks Mr.Ibrahim if he will adopt Momo, and Mr.Ibrahim agrees. Afterward Momo becomes his legally adopted son, and Mr. Ibrahim buys a car in celebration, stating that they will travel to many places in this car. After buying one, Momo discovers that Mr. Ibrahim does not remember how to drive, and that the license he showed the car's salesman was actually a letter from a friend, which was written in Egyptian. They take driving lessons together, and Momo sits in the back seat, paying attention to every instruction. Afterwards, the two travel to many countries, beginning with Europe and driving to the Middle East, with Momo driving the car for the entirety of their travels. Mr. Ibrahim describes the land to Momo as he drives, and reveals more about his culture. In Turkey,the place where Mr. Ibrahim was born, Ibrahim asks Momo to wait for him by an olive tree as he goes to meet his friend Abdullah. During this time, Momo falls asleep under the tree, and when he wakes up he discovers that the entire day has passed. Momo walks to a nearby village where people approach him in a panic, ushering him to a big house where he finds Mr. Ibrahim, bloodied and next to the car, which is crashed into the wall. Soon after, Mr. Ibrahim dies. Momo hitchikes back to Paris, where he has found that Mr. Ibrahim has left him his Coran and his store. From time to time, his mother will visit and asks about Moïse, and Momo tells her that Moïse had found his brother and they were taking a trip together, and probably wouldn't return for a long time. Afterwards, his mother invites him to dinner with her husband.

Momo is now happily married to a woman, and has two kids that affectionately call his mother "grandmother." At times, his mother will ask if it does not bother him, suggesting that she never finds out Momo's real identity. Momo continues to run the store, which is open nights and Sundays.

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By Graham on 14th January

Friday 17 Basel Museum Night

Saturday 18  all day - Tour to la Chaux de Fonds

Saturday 18 from 18:00 Singing Spiritual Songs with Stefan

Saturday 18 from 19:00 Wine  - Wine Tasting - The Southern Hemisphere

Monday 20 at 6:30pm - Burns Night at the Pickwick  - Sorry the pub is full, and also on 27 January. Next year I must remember to try to book 2 months in advance. Reserve by 16 January for the Burns Supper of the Swiss British Society (CHF 50) which is on Saturday 1 February.

Instead, on Monday 20, attend the Light Festival of Murten. Meet at 6 pm at the Berntor gate of the town (30 minutes by train from Berne) and at 6:30 pm for an Apero on a boat in the lake. For details see

Tuesday 21 at 7:30pm - Art Museum Tour contact Gary

Thursday 23 at 10:00 am at the Theater am Käfigturm, a performance of the French play M.Ibraham et les Fleurs du Coran. Then at 3:00 pm and 7:00pm - Theatre: "Free Mandela"

Wednesday 29 at 18:00 pm,  Sophie Book Group discusses the book "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. Open to all members;  contact Graham of you are interested.

See page 6 and 7 of the Newsletter about joining the different activities which we organise throughWhatsApp.


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